20 Best Lunches That Are Not Sandwiches | SAVEUR

20 Best Lunches That Are Not Sandwiches

Ditch the boring sandwich and see what the rest of the world eats for their midday meal

You might be stuck at your desk looking at the same lunch you’ve eaten the past three days, dreaming about other ways to fulfill your noon cravings. Sometimes that sandwich or salad just doesn’t cut it. If you want to shake up your routine, take a look at the different ways the world eats lunch. Whether it’s a fresh soba salad from Japan, or a beef stew from Kenya, pack a lunch that will make your coworkers jealous. Or, if you’re on a sandwich kick, mix it up with a Danish smorrebrod. Here are our favorite ways to make your lunch deliciously different.

Japanese Sashimi and Rice (Chirashi)

Japanese Sashimi and Rice (Chirashi)

Japanese Sashimi and Rice (Chirashi)

Stacy Adimando

Making sushi at home can be a challenge fraught with angst. That's where chirashi comes in. It's a rice bowl covered in colorful slices of fish, glistening balls of orange roe, and a rainbow of other garnishes from sesame seeds to seaweed promising all the architectural potential we lust for in a well-made sushi platter—but with far less effort. This recipe comes courtesy of chef Mike Lim of Chicago's Roka Akor. Get the recipe for Japanese Sashimi and Rice (Chirashi) »

Beef Stew with Mashed Plantains (Sukuma Wiki with Matoke)

Beef Stew with Mashed Plantains (Sukuma Wiki with Matoke)

Beef Stew with Mashed Plantains (Sukuma Wiki with Matoke)

Ingalls Photography

The Kenyan lunch known as sukuma wiki—a combination of collard greens, chile-flecked ground meat, and tomatoes served with cornmeal or mashed plantain—is such a fortifying part of the workweek that its name means "week pusher". Get the recipe for Beef Stew with Mashed Plantains (Sukuma Wiki with Matoke) »

Puy Lentil Salad (Sallad på Puylinser)

Puy Lentil Salad (Sallad på Puylinser)

Puy Lentil Salad (Sallad på Puylinser)

Felix Odell

Puy lentils from France's Haute-Loire region are celebrated for their robust, earthy flavor, which shines in this lively salad from Pelle Lundberg, a home cook in Vickleby, Sweden. The lentils, tossed with cherry tomatoes sautéed in butter and olive oil, flavored with rosemary and thyme, and then dressed in balsamic, make a festive vegetarian main course or a robust side dish for a Swedish midsummer lunch. Get the recipe for Puy Lentil Salad (Sallad på Puylinser) »

Spanish Potato Frittata (Tortilla Española)

SPANISH POTATO FRITTATA (TORTILLA ESPAÑOLA)

Spanish Potato Frittata (Tortilla Española)

Matt Taylor-Gross

This classic Spanish dish can be served for breakfast, cut in cubes for tapas, or as a summer lunch with a bowl of gazpacho. A quick note: Add the potato mixture while it's hot enough to start cooking the eggs but not so hot as to souffle them. Get the recipe for Spanish Potato Frittata (Tortilla Española) »

Watermelon Radish, Ahi Tuna, and Snap Pea Salad

watermelon radish salad, easy salads, summer salad recipe

Watermelon Radish, Ahi Tuna, and Snap Pea Salad

Ingalls Photography

At Los Angeles’ Lemonade restaurant, crunchy radishes, snap peas, and medium-rare seared tuna are tossed in a ginger-soy dressing for a crisp and colorful entrée salad. Get the recipe for Watermelon Radish, Ahi Tuna, and Snap Pea Salad »

Grilled Vegetable and Barley Salad

Grilled Vegetable and Barley Salad

Grilled Vegetable and Barley Salad

Helen Cathcart

Barley is typically eaten in a pudding for breakfast or dessert in Egypt, but in this recipe from cookbook author Suzanne Zeidy, it's turned into a hearty salad, seasoned with cumin and chiles, and tossed with grilled vegetables, feta, and pistachios. Get the recipe for Grilled Vegetable and Barley Salad »

Kimbap

Beef Kimbap

Beef Kimbap

Farideh Sadeghin

Korean kimbap is similar to Japanese sushi, but typically uses cooked or pickled ingredients. In this version, bulgogi (marinated beef) is paired with vegetables and egg. Get the recipe for Kimbap »

Sambal Goreng Tempe (Fried Tempeh in Tomato Sambal)

Fried Tempeh in Tomato Sambal

Fried Tempeh in Tomato Sambal

James Oseland

In this Balinese lunch dish, tempeh—fermented soybean cake—is fried until golden and then tossed in a fiery tomato-and-chile sauce. Get the recipe for Sambal Goreng Tempe (Fried Tempeh in Tomato Sambal) »

Watercress Ricotta Torte

Watercress Ricotta Torte | Frederic Morin

Watercress Ricotta Torte

Paul Sirisalee | Food Styling: Eugene Jho

Packed with grassy, spicy watercress and plenty of cheese, this frittata-like tart works wonders at brunch. Get the recipe for Watercress Ricotta Torte »

Quinoa Salad with Snap Peas, Scallions, and Mint

Quinoa Salad with Snap Peas, Scallions, and Mint

Quinoa Salad with Snap Peas, Scallions, and Mint

Matt Taylor-Gross

This light quinoa salad, filled with scallions, mint, snap peas, and crisp haricots verts tossed in a Dijon vinaigrette, makes a perfect summer side dish for picnics and barbecues. Get the recipe for Quinoa Salad with Snap Peas, Scallions, and Mint »

Potato, Spinach, and Red Pepper Frittata

Potato, Spinach, and Red Pepper Frittata

Potato, Spinach, and Red Pepper Frittata

André Baranowski

This basil-laced potato and vegetable frittata makes a satisfying lunch. Get the recipe for Potato, Spinach, and Red Pepper Frittata »

Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad

Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad

Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad

Farideh Sadeghin

Pasta salads are essential summer food: they travel well; they're easy to adapt to whatever produce you have on-hand; and they're simple to make in large portions, making them perfect dishes to carry to parties, picnics, and barbecues. Get the recipe for Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad »

Salmorejo

Salmorejo

Salmorejo

Todd Coleman

Salmorejo, gazpacho's richer, deeper cousin, is a cool, creamy soup typically topped with chopped hard-boiled eggs and salty prosciutto or Iberian ham; omit the pork to make it vegetarian. Get the recipe for Salmorejo »

Bacon and Egg Fried Rice

Bacon Fried Rice

Bacon and Egg Fried Rice

Matt Taylor-Gross

This simple fried rice is as good for breakfast as it is for dinner. Thick-cut bacon will make for more meaty, chewy bits. Cookbook writer Amy Thielen often adds a little sauerkraut for a further Midwestern touch. Get the recipe for Bacon and Egg Fried Rice »

Chicken and Green Mango Salad

Chicken and Green Mango Salad

Chicken and Green Mango Salad

Christopher Wise

This Cambodian chicken salad is bolstered by crisp green mango, roasted peanuts, and fresh herbs with a signature Southeast Asian sweet–sour–savory dressing. Get the recipe for Chicken and Green Mango Salad »

Beef Short Ribs Empanadas

Beef Short Ribs Empanadas

Beef Short Ribs Empanadas

Justin Walker

In his version of Chilean empanadas, chef Rodolfo Guzmán of Boragó replaces lean ground chuck with rich beef short ribs, which make each bite tender. Get the recipe for Beef Short Ribs Empanadas »

Moroccan Meatballs with Arugula

Moroccan Meatballs with Arugula

Moroccan Meatballs with Arugula

Ingalls Photography

These lamb meatballs are simmered in a harissa-spiked tomato sauce, served over peppery arugula, and drizzled with bright yogurt-thickened aïoli and roughly chopped basil leaves. Get the recipe for Moroccan Meatballs with Arugula »

Soba Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette

Soba Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette

Soba Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette

Dylan + Jeni

This refreshing salad of soba noodles tossed with winter greens and mixed vegetables is brought together by a tart dressing of miso, ginger juice, and lemon. Get the recipe for Soba Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette »

Sprouted Seed and Grain Salad with Spiced Prawns

Sprouted Seed and Grain Salad with Spiced Prawns

Sprouted Seed and Grain Salad with Spiced Prawns

Ryan Liebe

This hearty grain and seed salad is perfect for lunch, as the quinoa, buckwheat, and sunflower seeds luxuriate in a lemon dressing with mandarin-sauced shrimp. Get the recipe for Sprouted Seed and Grain Salad with Spiced Prawns »

Honey-Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salad

Honey-Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salad

Honey-Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salad

Farideh Sadeghin

This grilled chicken dish is the Holy Trinity of weeknight cooking: delicious, quick, and made from easy-to-find ingredients. Get the recipe for Honey-Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salad »